Women in Business survey results

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Almost half of West Country women in business (47%) are the primary earners in their household, but the great majority want more flexibility to help reduce conflict with their home life, with 43% having child-care responsibilities.

Nearly three-quarters (74%), however, expect to be working well beyond the traditional retirement age for women of 60, with 10% expecting to work until the age of 79 and 3% believing that they won’t retire until the age of 90.

These are among the headline findings of the latest annual survey of more than 400 women in business, conducted by accountancy firm, Bishop Fleming.

More than three-quarters of respondents revealed that they work full time (77%), with 53% confirming that they work up to 60 hours per week.

For the second year running, respondents were asked about their work-life balance. More than a third (40%) said that it was “good” or “excellent” – a significant drop on the 49% recorded in last year’s survey, which revealed that work-life balance is the biggest issue for 83% of respondents.

Architect of the survey, Bishop Fleming partner, Fleur Lewis, said: “These results reveal two things: the huge importance of women to West Country businesses, and the importance of having flexible working opportunities to meet their priority of a good work-life balance.”

Asked about the biggest restriction to their business growth or career progression, the majority (52%) cited conflicts with domestic responsibilities as the dominant issue, with almost half of the respondents having child-care responsibilities.